Tag Archives: Sea Ray 480 Motor Yacht

Patton, Loblolly Beach, Anegada, BVI

Happy 15th Birthday Patton! – by Randy

imageYesterday was a pretty important day aboard the Pilots’ Discretion. Patton, our intrepid, world traveling Cocker Spaniel turned fifteen (15) years old. Way back when we initially left the comfort zone of our home marina in Tarpon Springs, Florida (2 and 1/2 years ago) we had some concerns with how well our then 12 year old buddy would adapt to a life at sea. Our concerns were completely unfounded. Patton is the first one up every morning and the last one to turn in each night after surveying the boat to assure himself that the entire crew is accounted for.Patton Kindle

Patton crew

Patton crew

He loves excursions in the dinghy and he has his favorite spot picked out under the Captain’s helm chair for long passages.

Patton driving the dinghy in the BVIs

Patton driving the dinghy in the BVIs

Randy & Patton in front of Tthe Indians, B.V.I.

Randy & Patton in front of the Indians, B.V.I.

The story would not be complete without acknowledging there have been some concessions made due to the decision to cruise with Patton. We do not patronize places along the way that are not dog friendly. We have on rare occasions had more difficulty clearing immigration as a result of declaring Patton as part of our crew but all in all, he has been a very positive addition to our crew and we would not consider having it any other way.

Cable Car, Loma Isabel de Torres, Dominican Reupblic

Cable Car, Loma Isabel de Torres, Dominican Republic

 

For those of you following our blog who are not dog people, I am sure you just scratch your head when you see me acting like a very proud papa when talking about Patton. To the dog people following us, I know that I need to say no more.

Happy birthday Patton, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion loves you‚̧ԳŹ

Patton enjoying the sunset from The Bight, Norman Island, B.V.I.

Patton enjoying the sunset from The Bight, Norman Island, B.V.I.

 

MOVIE TRAILER – by Ronan(10) and Ryan (11)

Ronan (10) and Ryan (11) made a “movie trailer” for our Caribbean cruising adventures. We added it to our “VIDEOS” page at: https://pilotsdiscretion.com/videos/.¬†We are¬†also sharing it here, below. I think we found our new videographers! They had a lot of fun making it. We hope you enjoy watching it! Click on the below image to play.

We have also created a dedicated YouTube channel  where we have compiled the videos from our blog, and uploaded additional videos from our journey.  To view the videos click on the link below (or copy and paste into browser):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC94z5hCIrRiEvY8MTJegTbA.

MountCinnamon BeachClub, Grenada

Our Neighborhood is Disbanding – by Theresa

Bus Load of Cruisers from Port Louis Marina

Bus Load of Cruisers from Port Louis Marina

As we have reported to you before, our entire family has enjoyed this amazing trip of a lifetime in ways that we could have never imagined prior to our departure. The friends we have made and the sense of community that we have experienced with our fellow cruisers is something that I do not think any of us fully anticipated. As this is being written during the¬†third week of November, 2015, we are still tied to the dock at the Port Louis Marina in St. Georges, Grenada. The Pilot’s Discretion is ready for departure and once we have addressed a few minor issues, that required a last minute trip back to Florida, it will be time for us to cast off.

It appears that we will be some of the last members of our floating neighborhood to get underway. Each day for the past two weeks or so has been a new opportunity to say farewell to another fellow cruising family as our Grenadian flotilla has gradually begun to scatter to the four points of the compass.

S/V Slo Down Departing Port Louis Marina, Grenada

S/V Slow Down Departing Port Louis Marina, Grenada

Some of our friends are headed west, through the Panama Canal, others are headed south towards South America, while still others are headed north to continue exploring the islands of the Caribbean.

Regardless of the next destination, all of our new cruising friends agree that leaving Grenada has felt a bit like it did when we all left our respective homes at the beginning of our individual adventures. We have been in Grenada for 5 months and as a result have had the opportunity to get to know Grenada as our home away from home.

Our Favorite Beach

We have our favorite beach – Grand Anse, where we spent many a Sunday afternoon at Coconut Beach Restaurant. Toes in the sand, listening to live music, watching the cruise ships come in and out of port, all while enjoying local cuisine and fabulous sunsets … what’s not to love!

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Our Favorite Resort

We have our favorite resort, Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club (at the south end of Grand Anse Beach in St. Georges), where guests of ours visiting us in Grenada were pampered with turquoise Caribbean waters, lush tropical gardens, exquisite cuisine and magnificent scenery. Cruisers can enjoy fine dining in the resort restaurants and obtain day passes to enjoy all of the resort amenities. It is truly a hidden Caribbean gem!

Balcony Suite

Balcony Suite

Our Favorite Taxi Driver

We¬†even have our favorite taxi driver, Martin “Cat Eyes” Lawrence (a.k.a. ‘Yellow Man’). Cat Eyes is well known throughout the island and easy to spot given his signature yellow highlighted A/C taxi and matching attire. He is available for island tours, airport delivery & pickup, shopping and running all around the island. He is often stationed at the taxi stand at Port Louis Marina, however, he can also be reached at (473) 440-8032 or (473) 414-7742.

What ever expectations each of us had for Grenada before we arrived here, they have all been surpassed. We will always have fond memories of our time on this Caribbean jewel but as Tennessee Williams wrote “There is a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.” It is now time for us to move on.

Technical Services Available in Grenada – by Randy

For cruisers working their way south through the Caribbean chain, Grenada is a logical place to stop to address whatever maintenance issues that may have presented themselves to you along the way. First and foremost, Grenada is physically located south of the hurricane belt at a latitude most insurance companies consider “safe” during the Atlantic hurricane season (safe is a relative term and although hurricanes tend to turn north prior to reaching Grenada, there have been exceptions with devastating consequences). A prudent mariner must maintain a weather eye and always have a contingency plan just in case mother-nature decides to operate outside of the statistical norms. Our insurance company mandated that we would remain south of 12 degrees, 30 minutes latitude from June 1, through Nov 1, making our decision to seek out yacht maintenance in¬†Grenada a simple one. There are multiple boat yards capable of hauling everything from small mono hull sailboats, wide beam multi hull cats to mega yachts. In addition we found¬† skilled technicians, well versed in modern marine systems, including sailmakers, upholsterers, marine electronics experts and expert woodworking craftsmen that are capable of handling anything from a minor nick in the woodwork of a salon to complete yacht refurbishment. We did have some unfortunate experiences with some of the tradesmen and since it is not our desire to make it more difficult for motivated workers to earn a living we will not call them out publically. Suffice it to say, if we had a less than satisfactory experience with a vendor you will not see them listed here. We hope that the folks that let us down have learned from the experience and will raise their game. If we have listed someone on this blog, you can rest assured that they met or exceeded our expectations.

For a reliable maritime day laborer, there are many to choose from around the Port Louis Marina but we cannot recommend any of them more highly than Patrick King. Patrick¬†has always been¬† professional, hard working, courteous and trustworthy.¬†Everyone in our family has come to consider Patrick not just an employee but also a friend. Should you need to get in touch with Patrick he can be reached at (473) 416-9622 or¬†(473) 538-6536.¬†If you have a requirement for a diesel mechanic or electrician, or have any refrigeration issues, the guys that work for Palm Tree Marine are top notch.¬†Palm Tree Marine’s number is (473) 407- 2783.¬†Steffan Meyerer¬†and his crew at Driftwood Fine Yacht Woodworking (473) 459-9859¬†did an outstanding job installing custom cabinetry in the main salon of the¬†Pilot’s Discretion as well as redesigning our galley to provide room for our new Fisher Paykel dishwasher.¬†While it is not inexpensive to properly maintain a 50′ motor yacht each of the people we mentioned above came in at or below their initial estimates for the work we requested of them, often times after circumstances required us to modify the initial plan of attack with a more complicated work around. All in all, we have found Grenada to be one of the best places in the Caribbean to address the myriad issues that come up while actively cruising aboard our floating home.

A Quick Trip up the Anclote River to have Pilots’ Discretion hauled out

Pilots' Discretion being prepped for bottom paint in the Travel Lift

Pilots’ Discretion being prepped for bottom paint in the Travel Lift

With literally days to go before our departure, we still have a few open items on our list of preparations. The largest of those items is to have our boat hauled out of the water to have a new coat of bottom paint applied. The bottom paint protects the hull and running gear from barnacle buildup which in turn can have a dramatic effect on overall boat efficiency ( think 33% reduction in fuel mileage in extreme cases.) It also provides us one final opportunity to go over all of our engineering systems prior to departure so it is an effort worth the cost and labor. Yesterday morning, Theresa and I were at the marina early to get underway for Pittman Yacht Services, a dry dock facility that is equipped with a travel lift crane of suitable capacity to literally pick up our 45000 lb boat and place it on a set of blocks out of the water to facilitate our maintenance efforts.

It was a beautiful morning on the river and although the trip was brief, we enjoyed the opportunity to take Pilots’ Discretion out for a quick trip.